Moments of Silence

“Beings will come from the ten directions to be born in my country. They will be pure, their minds filled with gladness. Those in my pleasant country will be peaceful and at ease.”

Sanbutsuge

Today marks the 5th year memorial of the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting. Five years later the debate on guns and gun control continues. Whether on the side of gun control or expanded use of guns the debate rages on and the killings continue. According to NPR some 60 school shootings have occurred since 2012.

Each time we encounter a tragedy we are asked to join in a “moment of silence” for the victims and their families. I think many of us take the time to think about our families, and we also think about and feel sorrow for the families suffering loss. Perhaps some of us feel at a loss about what to think and what that moment of silence is for and what we should be doing.

As a Buddhist, I think this moment is a time for me to be more mindful of the causes and conditions that bring about events in our lives. To look deeply at the suffering of human beings and practice kindness and compassion. If you take a moment of silence today in memory of Sandy Hook, I hope we will think of all who suffered as a result of that incident and know that they will all find peace in Amida’s Pure Land.

Namoamidabutsu

南無阿弥陀佛

Rev. Shinseki